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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

America should skip NBC's sure-to-be-awful Winter Olympics coverage

Ever since the 1964 Summer Olympics, the National Broadcasting Corporation - or NBC - has been the network carrying coverage of the games to U.S. viewers. In recent years, NBC has paid a princely sum to maintain its broadcasting rights, but has let Americans down by doing a truly awful job of covering the games.

NBC's biggest sin is that it refuses to offer live coverage of the Games for viewers on the Left Coast, which is all the more outrageous this year considering that the Games are taking place on the Left Coast. In the time that transpires between when an event actually occurs and when NBC broadcasts it here, a Seattle area resident could be across the Canadian border and have found a public place to watch the next event to be broadcast live on Canadian television.

But that's not the only reason NBC's Olympics coverage stinks. Compared to broadcasters in other nations, NBC's coverage is laughably incomplete and pared down. That's because NBC only broadcasts the events that it thinks will get ratings. Of course, most viewers have no idea what they're missing... not that NBC cares.

But it gets worse. NBC does a lousy job of covering the Olympics objectively. Apparently the corporate suits in charge haven't considered that American viewers are interested in seeing more than just celebrity-style reporting about the trials, tribulations, and successes of U.S. athletes. (In 2008, Slate ridiculed NBC by launching a daily Sap-o-meter to track the drippy language used in the network's many background pieces).

To protest NBC's lackluster and poor coverage, I plan to stay away from my television during the Games. Instead, I'll watch on the Internet, using proxy servers to tune into live streams offered by broadcasters in other countries. I'm taking matters into my own hands because I refuse to allow big corporations like NBC to decide what I get to see and when I get to see it.

Comments:

Blogger Watchout5 said...

Furthermore they claim that people who seek the information from other sources are breaking copyright law. So if you watch the videos they won't show you you're a pirate that NBC thinks the state should intervene and fine you for accessing material they refuse to offer. Internet streams are the wave of the future, and I think the government should help create the kind of market conditions for independent internet video to thrive because obviously, the private market will not only refuse to offer us their products, but claim we harm them by watching content they'll never show us.

February 11, 2010 5:12 AM  

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